Ojaank IAS Academy




30 December 2022 – Current Affairs

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Indian National Congress (INC) Foundation Day

GS Paper-1

Context:The Indian National Congress (INC) recently celebrated its 138th Foundation Day.The Indian National Congress (INC) commemorates its founding day every year on December 28.
The Congress established?
  • Allan Octavian Hume, an English official, is credited with founding the organisation. The original group included two more British members, William Wedderburn and Justice John Jardine.
  • Hume founded the Indian National Congress with members of the Theosophical Society including Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjee, MG Ranade, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Dinshaw Wacha, Monomohun Ghose, and William Wedderburn.
  • At the time, Lord Dufferin was the Viceroy of British India.
First session of the INC
  • It took place on December 28, 1885.
  • The inaugural session of the INC brought together 72 social reformers, journalists, and attorneys.
  • It was conducted in Bombay’s Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College.
  • Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was elected as the country’s first president.
This group’s goal
  • The goal of this group was not to demand independence from the continued colonial administration, but to influence British government policy in favour of Indians.
  • Its goal is sometimes described as offering a “safety valve” for Indians to voice their concerns and frustrations.
  • Over the following several years, the party worked to change colonial authorities’ attitudes and practises towards Indian rights and privileges.
  • The gathering was mostly made up of educated, upper-class people who had presumably studied overseas.
  • As the organisation began to establish provincial organisations, this category became increasingly diversified over time.
  • Members regularly demonstrated against British colonialism, such as the Bengal famine and the outflow of riches from India.
  • However, at this stage, most demonstrations consisted of prayers and pleas, as well as letters to the authorities.
Splits and reconvening
  • In Surat in 1906, there was a divide between the’moderates’ led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Surendranath Banerjea and the ‘extremists’ led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
  • While Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai wanted the Congress to boycott the Prince of Wales’ visit in protest of the Bengal partition a year before, the moderates were opposed.
  • However, by 1915, at the Bombay session, we witnessed these two groupings reuniting as one.
The ‘two bullocks with plough’ symbol
  • During the 1952 and 1971 elections, the original Congress used an image of “two bullocks with a plough” as their election symbol.
  • During the period 1971-1977, the emblem was a cow with a sucking calf.
  • Indira Gandhi modified the sign to a “right hand” with the palm pointing front.

Source: The Hindu

Maharashtra Lokayukta Act, 2022

GS Paper-2

Context:The Maharashtra Assembly just unanimously enacted the Maharashtra Lokayukta Act, 2022.The Act will now be presented for approval to the Legislative Council.
Report of the Anna Hazare Committee:
  • The Maharashtra administration has approved the Anna Hazare Committee’s report for instituting Lokayukta in the state following the lines of the Lokpal statute passed by the Centre.
Highlights include:
  • The Act would give the Lokayukta new authority to direct state agencies to investigate public workers, including the chief minister and state ministers.
  • The Act would grant more authority to not only suggest action but also instruct state authorities to conduct the probe.
Process of investigation: 
  • The Maharashtra Assembly just unanimously enacted the Maharashtra Lokayukta Act, 2022.
  • The Act will now be presented for approval to the Legislative Council.
Report of the Anna Hazare Committee:
  • The Maharashtra administration has approved the Anna Hazare Committee’s report for instituting Lokayukta in the state following the lines of the Lokpal statute passed by the Centre.
Highlights include:
  • The Act would give the Lokayukta new authority to direct state agencies to investigate public workers, including the chief minister and state ministers.
  • The Act would grant more authority to not only suggest action but also instruct state authorities to conduct the probe.
For IAS officers:
  • The proposal includes IAS officials in the scope of the investigation, but the Lokayukta will need the chief minister’s agreement and the chief secretary’s opinion to begin the investigation.
Municipal corporator or sarpanch:
  • The Lokayukta will need permission from the minister in charge to investigate the municipal corporator or sarpanch.
The importance of approvals:
  • The filters will prevent fake complaints from being lodged.
The Anti-corruption Act:
  • This law will include the Anti-corruption Act.
  • The Lokayukta shall be composed of a retired High Court or Supreme Court chief justice (judge).
  • The Lokayukta team will consist of five persons, including former judges.
More about Lokayukta
  • The Lokayukta is a state-level anti-corruption authority.
  • It examines claims of corruption and maladministration against public workers and is entrusted with resolving public concerns as quickly as possible.
  • The Lokayukta may be traced back to the Ombudsman in Scandinavian nations.
  • In 1966, the Administrative Reforms Commission, led by Late Morarji Desai, proposed the establishment of the Lokpal at the Centre and the Lokayukta in the states.
  • By implementing the Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act, 1971, Maharashtra became the first and only state in India to implement the idea of Lokayukta.
Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013:
  • The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013 established Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States.
  • According to the Act, at least half of the Lokpal members must be from the SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, or women.
  • Members of the search committee are subject to the same regulations.
  • The Lokpal chairperson’s salary, allowances, and service conditions will be the same as those of the Chief Justice of India; those of the other members will be the same as those of a Supreme Court judge.
  • These organisations are statutory entities with no constitutional standing.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
  • The Bill changes the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, to require public workers to declare their assets and liabilities.
  • A public servant is required to report his or her assets and liabilities, as well as those of his or her spouse and dependent children.
  • Such statements must be given to the appropriate authorities within 30 days after taking office.
Selection, Appointment and Removal of Lokayukta:
  • The Lokayukta is generally a former Chief Justice of the High Court or a former Supreme Court judge with a defined term.
  • The Chief Minister appoints a Lokayukta after consulting with the Chief Justice of the High Court, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Chairman of the Legislative Council, the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council.
  • The Governor then makes the appointment.
  • Once appointed, the Lokayukta cannot be fired or transferred by the administration and may only be removed by the state parliament approving an impeachment petition.
Work and Functions:
  • The Lokayukta (also referred to as the institution itself) examines claims of corruption and maladministration against public workers and is entrusted with resolving public grievances as quickly as possible.
Way Forward:
  • To combat corruption, the institution of the ombudsman should be enhanced in terms of functional autonomy as well as manpower availability.
  • The appointment of Lokpal is not sufficient in and of itself. The government should also address the concerns that have prompted people to want a Lokpal.
  • The administration’s slogan of “less government, greater governance” should be fulfilled in letter and spirit.

Source: The Hindu

CAG Report on Plastic Waste Management

GS Paper-3

Context:In a recent audit report, the CAG stated that plastic waste management guidelines could not be adequately enforced.
No action plan with the ministry:
  • According to the report, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) lacks an action plan for the implementation of the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. As a result, the plastic waste management rules could not be implemented effectively and efficiently.
Data deficiencies:
  • Due to data gaps, the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) and the MoEF&CC did not have a clear and comprehensive picture of plastic waste creation in the entire country throughout the period 2015-20.
  • According to the CAG report, all three tested ULBs (urban local bodies) in Delhi did not provide the DPCC with statistics on plastic garbage created every year from 2015 to 20.
Loss of expenditure:
  • According to the study, the inefficient monitoring by the MoEF&CC and the delay in the delivery of financial support resulted in the demonstration project failing to generate environmental benefits and wasting Rs 73.35 lakh.
Effective data collection:
  • The CAG has advised that the Ministry establish a system for collecting and monitoring data on the generation, collection, and disposal of plastic waste through its agencies (CPCB, SPCBs/PCCs).
Assessment of plastic waste generation:
  • It also stated that the CPCB and state PCBs/PCCs, in collaboration with local bodies, must conduct a comprehensive assessment of the quantity of plastic waste generated and collect data based on parameters such as population size, geographical size of the area, economic growth, increased demand for consumer goods, and changes in manufacturing methods, among others.
Notification of regulations:
  • It was suggested that by including plastic waste management rules, local governments may speed up the process of announcing their bylaws.
Climate change and environmental pollution:
  • Millions of tonnes of plastic garbage are lost to the environment or are transported thousands of kilometres to be burnt or deposited.
  • Plastic, which is derived from petroleum, also contributes to global warming.
  • When it is burnt, its poisonous components are released into the atmosphere, where they accumulate in biotic forms across the surrounding ecosystems.
  • When burnt, it emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increasing carbon emissions.
Soil, water, and ocean pollution:
  • When plastic is buried in a landfill, it remains untreated for years.
  • Toxic chemicals from plastics leak and seep into groundwater, eventually moving downstream into lakes and rivers.
  • Because of the existence of microplastics in the soil, plastic leaking also causes soil contamination.
  • Rivers and lakes also transport plastic garbage from deep inside the earth to the sea, making them significant contributors to ocean pollution.
  • Plastic trash degrades the aesthetic value of tourist locations, resulting in lower tourism-related income and significant economic expenditures associated with site cleaning and upkeep.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules:
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016: 
  • It explicitly states that urban local bodies (ULBs) shall prohibit the use of less than 50 micron thick plastic bags and the use of recycled plastics for packing food, beverages, or other eatables.
  • To regulate plastics in India, it established the idea of EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility).
  • EPR refers to a producer’s obligation for ecologically sound product management till the product’s end of life.
Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022: 
  • The EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) standards, in conjunction with the restriction of recognised single-use plastic goods.
  • It prohibited the manufacturing, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic with a thickness of less than 75 microns.
  • Earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, and knives, straw, trays, wrapping films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100-microns, and stirrers are among the prohibited items.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board, in collaboration with state pollution control boards, will monitor the ban, identify infractions, and issue fines as outlined in the Environmental Protection Act.
Way Forward:
  • The MoEF&CC stated that it has adopted a three-pronged strategy for effective rule implementation, which includes the following: behavioural change; strengthening of the institutional system for plastic waste collection, segregation, and recycling; and engagement with producers, importers, and brand owners through Extended Producer Responsibility.
  • It is critical for the government and the rest of the business to maintain the course, reduce the quantity of plastic used, and transition to a circular economy as soon as possible.

Source: Indian Express

India’s Tech Startups

GS Paper 3

Context:As part of its economic growth strategy, the Indian government is stressing and honouring its tech startups. Prime Minister Modi has said that the number of Indian ‘unicorns’ technology startup businesses valued at $1 billion or more has more than quadrupled since 2021. Some of these businesses’ categories, such as climate tech, show great potential.
A significant issue is funding.
  • Though India has emerged as the third largest startup ecosystem, finance is becoming a significant issue, with the number of unicorns expected to decline by half by 2022.
  • One of the industries that appears to be struggling is Indian internet tech firms.
The current state of Indian IT startups
  • During the two-year epidemic, these Indian IT businesses performed well. With the huge expansion in work-from-home (WFH) office contacts, online consulting for a variety of services, including healthcare, online classes at schools, universities, and other educational institutions, and other online services and platforms are proliferating.
  • Technological solutions and electronic interactions via virtual platforms, digital payment systems, video consultations, and edtech all gained popularity overnight.
  • However, with the epidemic under control and people returning to their normal lives, the future of Indian businesses that provide online services is beginning to seem dismal.
  • According to recent media reports, the future of such digital startup enterprises is bleak. Funding is running out, and not all firms will survive.
  • Furthermore, events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a surge in global inflation rates, and fears of a looming recession have dimmed the prospects for many companies in general.
The impact of a financing shortfall on IT firms
  • Due to a lack of money, which is necessary for startups to survive, cost-cutting measures such as layoffs, mergers and consolidation, and even total shutdowns of some of them have been implemented.
  • According to Inc42, a tech media website, eight firms will close their doors in 2022. Protonn, a Matrix Partners-backed SaaS firm, closed its doors in January 2022 after failing to discover the correct product-market fit.
  • Protonn was a Bengaluru and San Francisco-based startup that focused on providing a platform for professionals such as lawyers, graphic designers, and nutritionists to launch their businesses online, create videos, hold live sessions, generate payment links, and track the financial performance of their businesses. The startup had received $9 million in early capital. Former Flipkart executives Anil Goteti and Mausam Bhatt launched the firm, which returned US $ 9 million to its investors.
The problem that edtech businesses confront in a post-pandemic environment
  • Uday ceased operations in April of this year. The Gurgaon-based firm struggled to stay in business in the post-pandemic environment. Soumya Yadav, co-founder of the firm, noted that the company was observing the post-pandemic reality for the first time, and that when the students returned to school, we encountered barriers in developing the original concept of online, live learning. We tested several alternative methods and neighbouring pivots, but none of them looked good enough.
  • Edtech businesses such as Vedantu and Unacademy are also experiencing major financial difficulties, resulting in hundreds of layoffs or the closure of certain verticals.
  • Vedantu let off around 620 staff earlier this year. Unacademy closed their USMLE medical exam preparation vertical earlier this year.
  • Unacademy had three rounds of layoffs as of November, beginning with 600-800 individuals from its sales and marketing division.
  • Unacademy’s competitor, Byju’sa, has also feeling the strain and is said to have cut off around 2,500 people.
  • Another education firm, Bengaluru-based SuperLearn, shut down in June due to “a lack of cash and dwindling investor trust.”
Another advantage of startups
  • While edtech may be the most hit, companies in biotech and healthcare, as well as e-commerce and finance, may fare better in the next year.
  • Several entrepreneurs benefited from the inadequacies of the Indian healthcare system, and as a result, phenomena such as online pharmacies, healthcare-at-home services, and fitness and wellness enterprises have emerged and are expected to persist.
  • Healthcare firms allegedly garnered over $2.2 billion in funding across 131 transactions. They also appear to have discovered an appealing business strategy, which may allow them to continue with moderate success in the coming years.
Way Forward:
  • Nonetheless, after experiencing a boom and a considerable surge in demand in these sectors over the previous two years, there is a chance that some balance may occur over the following two years.
  • Another possible option for startups to deal with the cash crisis and lack of acceptable response is to combine the many edtech and e-commerce platforms, so expect a few mergers and acquisitions in the future years.
  • Some of this has already occurred in the enterprisetech industry. Startups have garnered a decent degree of notoriety, at least within a few select areas, and it looks that they are here to stay, despite the likelihood of a hard number of years until concerns with funding and the market are ironed out.

Not only did the economic crisis induce closures, but developing enterprises in post-pandemic conditions proved difficult. Overall, Indian IT startups provide a mixed picture. Strong government assistance is encouraging, but concerns of business model and market competitiveness must be addressed.

Source: Indian Express

The World of Cyberspace and Cyber sovereignty

GS Paper-3

Context:A state’s ambition to govern ‘cyberspace’ inside its boundaries is achieved by exerting what is called ‘cyber sovereignty’. While some nations, such as the United States (US), promote the free movement of information, others, such as China, by default restrict the flow for their population, resulting in internet fragmentation.
What exactly is a cyber threat?
  • A cyber threat, also known as a cyber security threat, is defined as a criminal act designed to steal or harm data or disrupt an enterprise’s digital welfare and stability.
  • Data leaks, computer viruses, denial of service, and several more attack vectors are all examples of cyber risks.
What exactly is cyberspace?
  • Cyberspace is a worldwide realm within the information system characterised by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to generate, store, alter, share, and exploit information through independent and linked networks utilising information-communication technologies.
  • Traditionally, cyberspace was thought to be divided into three layers: physical/hardware, neural/software, and data.
  • In his book The Darkening Web, Alexander Klimburg developed a fourth layer that deals with social interaction among the three layers: “If cyberspace can be considered to have a soul or consciousness, this is where it is. Control over all layers is required to establish sovereignty in cyberspace.
What exactly is cyber sovereignty?
  • Bruce Schneier, a key voice in internet governance, created the term to describe countries’ attempts to regulate portions of the internet within their borders.
  • The phrase cyber sovereignty derives from internet governance and typically refers to the power of states to develop and apply regulations in cyberspace.
  • Cyber sovereignty does not always have to imply governmental rule. It mostly refers to the capacity to develop and apply rules in cyberspace. It might also refer to the authority to pronounce the law, i.e., having jurisdiction, in cyberspace.
  • In contrast to other technologies whose development is influenced by policy, technology drives policy decisions in this case. These traits complicate internet administration and lead to clashes between nations and other parties.
Should nations be held liable for cyber-attacks launched from their territory?
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) defines sovereignty as the act of bestowing rights and imposing duties on states. This indicates that nations must maintain control over their cyber infrastructure and prevent it from being used to damage other states or non-state actors, whether consciously or inadvertently.
  • If the state or its nationals are active in assaulting the cyber facilities of other states or non-state entities, they are also subject to cyber sovereignty.
Cyber sovereignty and its ramifications:
  • The internet was designed to facilitate the free flow of information, but cyber sovereignty operates in the other direction. Restricting the flow of information can also put global firms at risk since it leads to a lack of interoperability.
  • Control over data might result in new types of colonialism and imperialism, dubbed “data colonisation” and “data imperialism” in the digital age. Through cyberspace monitoring, limiting information flow, and enforcing internet shutdowns, states and private actors can overstep their authorities and violate human rights.
  • Citizens’ rights such as privacy, freedom of expression, access to information, press freedom, freedom of belief, non-discrimination and equality, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, due process, and personal security are all affected.
  • Access to geolocation data can provide information on protest participants. Furthermore, a user’s sexual orientation, political affiliation, and religious beliefs can be determined based on their online behaviour.
An illustration of the implications of cyber sovereignty
  • In 2009, Uighurs, China’s Muslim minority population, staged a protest on Facebook and Uighur-language blogs to demand justice for their coworkers slain by Han Chinese in a doll factory.
  • Following this event, Facebook and Twitter were prohibited throughout the country, and the internet was shut down in the region for ten months.
  • Following the event, the Chinese government, with the assistance of the business sector, created AI-enabled tools such as the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (Ijop) to monitor Uighur Muslims’ everyday activities. This software collects information such as skin colour, facial characteristics, property ownership, payments, and personal relationships and flags any questionable activity. If any person is flagged by the systems, an inquiry is launched. Data is collected around the clock in order to conduct mass surveillance.
Consider these as value addition remarks for essays.
  • Unlike other areas such as land, sea, air, and outer space, cyberspace was created by humans and so has total control over it.
  • Countries have attempted to develop regulations and laws to govern cyberspace by constructing the required infrastructure.
  • This may be viewed as either a defensive mechanism used by nations to defend their own vital infrastructure or a framework used to exploit the resources of other states.
  • It has created a security quandary and fueled the fires of great-power politics.
  • Recognizing its significance, nations have begun to regard cyberspace as similar to physical territory, and are erecting virtual barriers to safeguard their ‘cyber territory’ using various technologies.
  • It is frequently stated that knowledge is wealth, and rivalry for control and access to this wealth has evolved between nations, as well as between state and non-state entities. The paradox of nations attempting to safeguard data created on their territory by enacting data protection laws while also wishing to use data generated by other states adds to the complexity.

Source: Indian Express

Cotton Textiles in India

GS Paper-3

Context:When we look back at Indian handlooms, one thing is certain: the craft sector has evolved considerably quicker than in the past. India has the potential to be a world leader in the sustainable manufacture of cotton textiles.

Background: Indian handlooms
  • Since at least the first century of the Common Era, Indian weavers have supplied the world’s marketplaces with cotton cloth.
  • In pre-industrial times, the various types of Indian cotton textile bafta, mulmul, mashru, jamdani, moree, percale, nainsukh, chintz, and so on were the source of India’s fabled richness.
  • Until the arrival of the British, all yarn for handloom weaving in India was spun by hand.
  • This activity ended with the introduction of spinning machines in Britain and the importation of machine-spun cotton yarn.
Colonial policies’ impact on Indian handlooms
  • Because India was a British colony, its economic policies were determined by the British.
  • Raw cotton was exported abroad to support British industry, while machine-woven cotton products were imported.
  • Though Indian cotton types produced the best fabrics the world had ever seen, the legendary Dhaka muslins, they were unsuitable for the newly devised textile machines, but American cotton varieties with longer, stronger staples were. Because the machines required identical cotton, the hundreds of types of Indian cotton that had been developed over ages had to become uniform. Diversity, which had previously been valued, became a hindrance.
  • By 1947, mass manufacturing had taken hold, and India’s own spinning and weaving facilities had supplanted Lancashire. Native cotton types and hybrids were gradually supplanted by American cotton kinds and hybrids, and native cotton varieties currently thrive only in a few places.
What did this imply for cotton growers in India?
  • Cotton is mostly cultivated by small farmers in India, and new approaches have shifted agricultural practises away from sustainable, family-based agriculture and toward intense commercial farming, with severe and disastrous effects.
  • Seeds are pricey and originate from major international corporations rather than the farmer’s own stock.
  • While the Indian types were rain-fed, the American variety require irrigation, which raises humidity levels. Pests and fungus thrive in humid environments.
  • A chemical fertiliser, pesticide, and fungicide cocktail is utilised, which raises the expense of cultivation but does not ensure a satisfactory crop.
  • The farmer incurs massive debts in the hope of reaping a bumper harvest, but India’s weather is unpredictable, and groundwater is rapidly dwindling. If the crop fails, the farmer bears the full risk. Cotton farmer despair has sometimes resulted in suicides. The advent of genetically engineered seeds has exacerbated the situation.
The connection between energy shift and cotton production
  • Just as fossil fuel energy ushered in the age of mass manufacturing in the nineteenth century, clean, renewable energy will propel small-scale environmental Indian enterprises to the top of the heap in the twenty-first century.
  • As fossil fuels run out, previous concepts of efficiency will shift, and low-energy industrial technologies will become more valuable.
  • Simultaneously, markets are getting saturated with look-alike items from factory-style mass production, and there are more clients for the customised products that distributed manufacturing can provide. In shifting markets, small-batch handwoven textiles will become popular.
Interesting: Malkha is a long-lasting cloth.
  • Malkha is a pure cotton textile created straight from raw cotton in a community near cotton fields that blends traditional Indian cloth manufacturing principles with current small-scale technologies.
  • Malkha saves energy by avoiding the need of heavy machinery to bale and unbale cotton, as well as wasteful transportation.
  • It offers an alternative to mass-producing cotton yarn.
  • Malkha has also used natural yarn dyeing to make their clothes even more environmentally friendly.
  • The globe is on the lookout for green industries. As independent India celebrates its 100th year, handloom weaving among cotton fields has the potential to make it a world leader in sustainable production over the next 25 years.
Source: Indian Express

Facts For Prelims


Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited, a government of India Enterprise (under the Ministry of Jal Shakti), has been recognised by the Asian Development Bank as a leading consulting business in the water and other infrastructure sectors (ADB).

  • WAPCO (founded in 1969) has been designated as a “Mini Ratna” firm.
  • WAPCOS is a technology-driven Consultancy and Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) firm specialising in Water Resources, Power, and Infrastructure Development.
  • Apart from India, the Company has successfully completed/is currently doing consultant engagements in over 51 countries across Asia, Africa, the CIS, the Pacific Islands, and South America.
  • Brain-eating amoeba

South Korea announced its first instance of infection with Naegleria fowleri, also known as the brain-eating amoeba, on Monday.

What exactly is Naegleria fowleri?
  • According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Naegleria is an amoeba, a single-celled organism, and only one of its species, Naegleria fowleri, can infect humans (CDC). It was discovered in 1965 in Australia and is often found in warm freshwater bodies such as hot springs, rivers, and lakes.
How does it infect humans?
  • The amoeba enters the human body through the nose and proceeds to the brain. This commonly occurs when someone goes for a swim, dives, or even dips their head in a freshwater body. In rare cases, patients became sick after cleaning their noses with polluted water.
  • According to the CDC, it produces a serious illness known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
  • Omega Centauri

A peculiar class of high-temperature stars discovered in the globular cluster Omega Centauri, the Milky Way’s biggest known globular cluster, may reveal clues to its creation.

  • Using photos from the Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) on AstroSat (India’s first dedicated space observatory, which has been operational since 2015), scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics discovered peculiar hot stars in the cluster.
  • Omega Centauri is a globular cluster in the constellation Centaurus that Edmond Halley discovered in 1677 as a non-stellar object. With a diameter of around 150 light-years and a distance of 17,090 light-years, it is the Milky Way’s biggest known globular cluster.
  • The Milky Way contains between 100 billion and 400 billion additional stars, many of which have planets of their own. The Milky Way earned its name from how it appears from the ground: like a splattered milk track across the sky.
  • In 1610, Galileo Galilei used his telescope to resolve a band of light into individual stars for the first time.

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